When to Settle Your Work Comp Case

In Illinois you cannot settle your Workers’ Compensation case until your medical treatment is completed.

There is no set amount based on your work injury.

Some states have a schedule to ties the settlement into the type of injury you suffered. That does not apply in Illinois.

You must negotiate your settlement with the insurance company.

The amount you receive is also based on your average weekly wage for the year before your injury.

You are not paid anything for pain and suffering in Illinois Work Comp cases.

The settle value is negotiated based on the type of injury, the treatment needed, and your average weekly wage.

You should attempt to settle your case as soon as you complete treatment and you feel comfortable at work.

You want to make sure that you will not need any additional medical treatment.

Settling sooner rather than later helps your case because it is fresh in everyone’s mind in the event you need to go to trial.

In addition, it is better to get the money today rather than wait 2 to 3 years.

Questions about settling your case? Feel free to contact Illinois Workers’ Compensation Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

Work Injury Cases- Behind the Scenes With the Arbitrator

Ever wonder what someone else really thinks?

Of course, that is what novels and movies lay out for us many times.

Let’s go behind the scenes and see what a Workers’ Compensation Judge (in Illinois they are called Arbitrators) looks at in the typical case.

Arbitrator Daniels is reviewing her first case for the day. It involves a low back injury that happened on October 1, 2016.

The Arbitrator looks at the first doctor visit after the injury. It is dated October 21, 2016. This is not that unusual because it may take some time to get into the doctor’s office.

The Arbitrator reads the doctor note.

It says “low back pain. No known injury. Pain with bending and twisting.”

This bothers the Arbitrator because she believes most people who are injured at work will tell the doctor right away if they are injured at work so the doctor will understand everything he needs to know about the injury and the background involved.

The injured worker had testified before Arbitrator Daniels that he filed an accident report with work several months after the accident. He did this because he did not know what to do. The supervisor testified that every employee is instructed to file an accident report at the time of an accident.

The injured worker testified that he told the doctor he was hurt at work, but the office messed up the records.

The Arbitrator decides to rule against the injured worker because she believes timely filed records are important, and statements made closest in time to the accident are usually the most truthful.

This look into the Arbitrator’s mind shows the importance of filing a timely accident report, and telling the doctor immediately that you were injured on the job.

Questions about your work injury? Feel free to contact Illinois Work Comp Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.



What is Open Medical in Workers’ Compensation Cases

In Illinois you can get future medical treatment one of two ways in your Work Comp case.

You may settle the case and have it included in your contract.

This is very rare because the insurance company wants to close out the case and avoid paying for something down the road.

The other way is to have a trial.

If you win your case, this opens the possibility that you may seek medical in the future.

You will have to prove that your need for future medical is related to the original work injury.

You may have to have a second trial to get this future medical treatment approved.

So you must weigh whether it is worth it to fight a second time for the future medical treatment.

Some people want the settlement sooner and the certainty of the amount of money they will receive.

The trial itself takes longer and whatever the Arbitrator awards is what you get.

Just remember open medical is not an automatic pass for whatever treatment you want, whenever you want it.

Questions about your work injury? Feel free to contact Illinois Work Injury Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.